Sometimes, as the years roll on, we tend to think that everything to do has been done and, face it, there are more years behind us then there are in the future.
The kids are no longer kids — they are mature adults dealing with their own lives. Grandchildren no longer want to go on a trip to the Coral Castle or want to go to the beach for a day in the surf with Pop Pop. They are thinking about the next big school test, the prom, where to buy a home, a new car — all adult things.
Now they are in high school, college, some are married, and there is very little time for Grandpa. They have their lives to live and might well be thinking about when they too will become parents and then grandparents.
Life with my wife is good. We do many things together that are a pleasure. We frequently dine at a nice restaurant with friends and have enjoyable nights on the town. My wife visits her kids in Brazil. I visit my brother in Atlanta. But something has slipped away. That daily contact with the grandchildren as they were growing from babies to kindergarten, to middle school is behind us. Contact has slipped away without even become aware of it.
Funny but when my wife and I were considering a short cruise I asked myself why. I can’t stay out in the sun too long. Neither my wife nor I like drinking. I must drag along a half dozen prescriptions to take in the morning and evening. My wife gets seasick. We don’t like gambling.
“Heck, we might just as well stay home and go to a local casino if we want to lose a few dollars, which we don’t,” I said to myself.
Then something happened to me. In the overall scheme of life it was very unimportant. I decided to scan the 15 photo albums filled with pictures and comments about the family and digitize them for the future. We never know when another Andrew could hit us and destroy those precious photos. Now I have the photo history of the last 15 years on a pin drive in my pocket. Want to see my youngest grandchild when he was confirmed?
Seriously, it motivated me. You know inspiration comes in many forms. I relived every picture — every Christmas, every Thanksgiving, the kids’ first communions, my grandson’s Little League baseball game, and my granddaughter’s dance recital. Every other little thing we did with the family. I didn’t even realize that I was losing the daily contact I had with my children. I miss all the little get-togethers for the smallest of occasions. We just didn’t realize that our relationships with our kids and grandchildren were slowly eroding. No one realized it. It wasn’t intentional.
We just got busy with our lives — I with my work, my wife with hers. My daughter’s PTA meetings, supervising homework, it just eats into our time for the family.
Looking at over more than 1,200 pictures of my wife and me, the kids, the vacations, Disney World, the frequent dinners out, I realized that it is all still there to enjoy. I have many years to enjoy life and, by God, I am going to do it.
As soon as I finish this column, and send it to the editor, I am getting in my car and driving down to Palmetto Bay and drop in and visit with my daughter, son-inlaw and three girls. Just like the old days.
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